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As I watched our puppy rip apart yet another toy, it occurred to me that I might as well hand her the ten dollar bill to chew. I'm wasting my money buying pet toys at the store time and time again. Instead, there are cheaper homemade toys that are just as fun for the pup and much easier on my wallet.
Stuff multiple socks inside one main sock. Tie the end and hand it off. Your dog has a great new chew toy without the stuffing that becomes such a problem. She can peel the layers off like an onion or chew all day. If you have a young pup, make the sock toy before washing the sock. We might not like the smell, but your puppy will appreciate your scent when you're away from home.
Double layer socks by stuffing one inside another. Then, fill the inside sock with sawdust. It's a different type of chew toy for a less aggressive chewer. If sawdust isn't available, use small animal bedding or a similar product.
The tug rope is the greatest toy to have when playing with a dog. Instead of purchasing a knotted rope at the pet store, make your own with old socks or t-shirts. Hold two socks together and knot them with other socks to create length. Make the knots tight so they don't give way while playing.
Combine the sock and the water bottle to recreate this toy. Place an empty plastic water bottle inside an old sock. Knot the sock and watch the fun.
Poke holes in the water bottle and remove the cap. Then, fill it with small or crushed dog treats. It works like the well-known Kong, allowing the dog to pester the bottle until small pieces of treats come out of the opening. If she destroys the bottle and gets the snacks, take the plastic before she can eat it and use a new bottle tomorrow.
On hot days fill the water bottle half way with water and lay it on its side in the freezer. Your dog has a solid chewing toy that will cool him in the hot weather, but it isn't too hard for his teeth.
Our pup invented the water bottle toy on her own. I left an empty bottle on the floor only to find her running through the house in absolute joy at her newly found toy. I did nothing to it, and it was just as pleasing to her.
To create the stuffing free toy that so many stores sell, buy some heavy fabric and get out your sewing machine. Cut out a basic shape - dogs don't care. Layer six or seven layers of the fabric on top of each other, sewing each layer to the one below it.
Remember, it's okay for your furry friend to destroy his toys now. It only takes five minutes to make new ones.
When making noise-making pet toys, such as the ones using empty water bottles, potato chip canisters, or pill bottles, use dry food or treats instead of the suggested marbles, bells, etc. If the pet gets the container open, there will be no risk of swallowing something harmful.
By Jeanie from IL
My dog loves to chew on empty 20-ounce pop bottles, so I made an inexpensive variation of that. Take a 20-ounce pop bottle, drop a couple of dried beans inside, and put the cap on tightly. Slip the bottle inside an old tube sock and tie a knot in the top of the sock. My dog loves to chew on these and toss them around.
Check out the remnant rack at your local fabric store. Find fleece, any kind, and cut it in 2 inch wide by 24 or 36 inch long strips. Place 3 together tie the ends together knotting it twice and start braiding to the end. Tie the other end.
Now that our puppy is older and much bigger, I've been forced to come up with a new way to keep her entertained and out of my hair when I am cooking dinner.
My dog loves a light stuffed toy hanging from a doorway on a length of elastic at a length that requires her to leap at to snatch at and grab. Then the toy is snapped away by the elastic when she lets go! She loves it, and so do I. It gives her exercise and we never get bored.
Give your furry friends a Christmas present by sewing these cute animals. The patterns are very simple and inexpensive to make. This is also a great way to use up those scraps!
I put small bits of food in a Parmesan cheese container for our dog. Older dogs are unable to chew it up, but can get hours of enjoyment trying to get the treat out.
Use your old socks to make dog toys. Buy some squeakers, you can buy them in bulk online. I found them on Amazon. Roll one in some socks to make a small ball. Stuff that in a long one and tie one or two knots in it. It lasts longer than all those toys. Squeakers are optional, but the dogs like the hanging parts that flip around.
This cheap dog toy also provides an IQ challenge. Put a piece of dog biscuit or a treat in a Propel water bottle (with no cap and the plastic retainer ring removed).
Put a dog treat under a jar lid and put it on the floor with the dog watching. It works a treat, just keep something handy for rescuing the lid from under the freezer, etc.
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I'm looking for an inexpensive way to make toys for a lot of hounds (hunting dogs). Any ideas? Thanks.
By Orinda T. Berg from Gloucester, VA
I put a tennis ball into the toe of an old sock and my puppy went wild for it. As he got older I used two socks for added strength. He's nearly two years now and gets excited when a new one surfaces! Tennis balls can be bought cheaply at sporting good stores, but you can easily pick some up at your local college or high school. Tennis players will leave balls that aren't responsive anymore and your dog doesn't care.
Do you have any frugal chew toy ideas for dogs that are safe?
When my leotards & other such stretchy knit clothes are too worn to wear on any self-respecting human, I wash & dry them & then tie them into big knots for use as dog tug-o-war toys. - Alekscat the frugal feline, Richmond,VA
I used to work at a Goodwill thrift store and people would come in and buy the stuffed animals by the bagfuls! They were giving them to their animals as chews toys!! You can also find cheap stuffed toys at the Salvations Army, etc.
For the cheap dog toys request, Please let her know that many attended laundrymats keep a lost and found. After so long they discard the clothes. Towels and socks knotted make excellent dog toys. If she can sew, you can get squeakers and rattles at some craft stores. Also greyhound rescues often have days where you can volunteer to help make toys and blankets. If she attends one of these or can talk to the person in charge, you can get the toys cheap, or at least learn to make them.
Yard sales and garage sales are also a source of cheap stuffed animals.
Our dog loves playing with empty plastic cola bottles, especially the 2 liter size; Plain ol ordinary twigs & sticks; Ice cubes on the kitchen floor.
well you could take a old sock and stuff it with the other old sock and sew the end together and you have it a inexspenive dog toy. for cats take small baby mittens and
again stuff it with fluff and then sew the end together. (if you want slip alittle catnip in with the fluff) you could watch you cat go crazy with his/her new toy.
My dog only plays with tennis balls, but the ones marketed for pets are not good enough (pop in thirty minutes) In the sporting goods, you can get three for less than the price of two in the pet department if you look for practice balls. Also, tennis clubs may have them for sale if you go through a lot, and I have even seen used ones at thrift stores. We always found one per week during the summer at the apartment tennis courtyard we lived next to! THe longest he has kept one intact (or not lost) is one year.
For my cat (passed on in 2004) she loved those plastic seals from frozen orange juice concentrate cans, they were big enough to not fall apart when she chewed them, but we always had a ton under the refridgerator!
Sidenote....be careful on your choices for chew toys...when they misplace their favorite, they WILL look for replacements. I had that problem with shoes. My husband gave a puppy we had an old slipper, then she started on others. And if you have young kids, or plan to have them around, stay away from squeakers and rattles in the softies...a lot of baby snuggles have them.
I pick my dog's toys at either garage sales or thrift stores, but Walmart also has a great assortment for $1.
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Puppies are the best! That is, until you're trying to do your house work and your puppy is constantly underfoot. I have a tip that I use once in a while to gain me some peace. I take once slice of lunch meat, roll it up and stuff it into an empty water bottle with the cap off. Then I lure our puppy to a quiet corner of the house away from where I am working and let her try to get it out.
The chewing feels good on her baby teeth, which aren't big or strong enough yet to tear through the bottle. She ends of throwing it around and getting bits of meat out while I get things accomplished. It's a win-win situation!
By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK
This is a page about making a rag knots chewing toy. If your dog loves to chew and play tug-o-war, a rag knots chew toy is perfect for them.
Dogs can destroy store bought toys faster than you might expect. If you are spending a lot of money on dog toys, consider making your own out of old scraps and dish towels.
This is a page about squeakers for dog toys. If you are making or repairing dog toys you will need squeakers for them.
This is a page about making a braided fleece dog toy. You dog will love this easy to make braided tug-o-war toy.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Paige from Delray, Florida
My dog likes a carrot tied in a sock. It is good for teething. (08/17/2008)
I bought my dog a "Kong" toy when he was a pup for about $8.00 or so. I've had to replace it just recently and he is 13 years old.(Boxer) To me it's safer for him than fabric or plastic would be and well worth the money. (08/20/2008)
I just did this with my puppy and he loves it. I took and old paper towel tube and put Scooby snacks and some of his other treats in it and cut a hole in the tube and he loves it. (09/13/2008)
If you have a tree in your backyard, try this one. Find a limb that's approximately 20 feet up in the tree and tie one end of a 25 foot rope around the limb. Tie knots and loops in the other end so that it hangs about 2 feet off the ground. It works like a tug'o'war they can play by themselves. I found rope at a farm supply store and spent about $10 for the whole thing. I have a high energy dog and this keeps her entertained for hours. (09/25/2008)
After finishing a 20 oz. plastic bottle of soda, wrap it in a towel and hit the bottom end with a hammer a couple of times to take out the shape, then take some small treat bones and put them in the bottle. The pup gets a "rattle" and has to work for their treat. (11/06/2008)
I just make an origami claw out of strong paper and give it to my dog and she can play with it for a few hours before I have to make a new one (they are very easy to make). My dog is a big Husky Pit Bull mix and is three years old.
By Kristina Emily
I got some cellophane and stuck it inside a roll of paper and used duct tape to tape the ends up so it doesn't come out. Then I wrapped it all up in more duct tape. But you have to wrap it in like heaps of duct tape so your dog doesn't chew it up. Don't forget to go over the ends with duct tape too or else your dog could get it off the end and then eat the cellophane and its probably not that tasty. This toy suits big dogs because when they bite it the cellophane crackles and often a little dog like a Pomeranian doesn't have a strong enough jaw to bite it so it crackles. Its called a Munch and Crunch. (01/07/2009)
I take the empty cardboard tube that comes with a paper towel or toilet paper roll, insert a doggie treat, then fold and pinch the cardboard ends several times to seal it up. It's ungainly, but he doesn't care.
I throw it, he fetches, I grab it and throw it again, he's interested in guarding it. The toy is good for a few minutes of his attention. Not exactly a doggie long lasting toy, but good for the occasional diversion. (01/11/2009)
My dog loves to eat peanut butter. What I do is take a squeaky toy with many nooks and crannies. I smother on PB in the hard to reach places. My dog loves to try to get his tongue to reach the PB. (02/16/2009)
My opinion is for heavy chewers or dogs that weight over 50 pounds. My Bull Terrier loves to chew as much and often as possible. I tried putting a container with water and letting her bob for apples, this entertained her for a hour till she got the apple and ate it. Putting rice in a plastic bottle worked for 2 minutes.
But I found the best way to get her chewing habits relieved was a normal Kong (I have to use the extra strength black, but whatever fits your breed), and making homemade dog frozen treats like (mixed banana honey or plain yogurt honey and oats) keep her busy the most, changing up what you put in the Kong keeps them more interested than just freezing peanut butter every time. And to give her something to just destroy I give her paper towel rolls. I put treats in the middle and fold up the ends. (do not use string or ties on the ends if you dog eats or swallows it it can cause deadly intestinal damage). (02/20/2009)
By Bull Terrier Owner
I am looking for a pattern for fleece dog lanyards/pull toys. Anyone out there have any ideas? Thanks.
By Michelle from Highland, MI
Newspaper ball: roll up newspaper. Cover it with several layers of duct tape.
Jeany the octopus: cut eight strips from a pair of old jeans. Tie a knot in the end of the strips. Make a face on the knot. Make duct tape hair. Cover the tentacles with duct tape.
Sock ball: put a tennis ball in an old sock. Tie a knot at the end.
Sock bottle: put a bottle inside the sock. Tie a knot in the end.
Hope this helps! :-) (05/02/2010)